Thoughts on the Jaguars, That Superb Defense, and Blake Bortles

The Jaguars defense has played at an elite level this season. They have kept opponents to an average of just 15.3 points per game, a mark which no team has achieved since the 2013 Super Bowl-winning Seahawks (14.4).

They are talented and productive, while also being relatively young when you consider that several of their stars are aged between 23 and 26 — Jalen Ramsey is already a top shutdown corner at age 23; Telvin Smith at 26 has built on his hype and is entering his prime as one of the better defensive playmakers in the league; AJ Bouye is also 26 and has earned every cent of his big deal; and then there’s three players under 24 who are thriving in the system – Yannick Ngakoue, Myles Jack and Dante Fowler Jr. Continue reading Thoughts on the Jaguars, That Superb Defense, and Blake Bortles »

Comparing Pre- and Post-Contract Numbers for Top WRs

I’ve decided to go through some of the highly compensated players in the league and see how their performance has been since signing their deal, compared to before it.

I considered any player that is currently on a significant deal (above or around early 1st round pick range), and has played at least two seasons since signing. Today I’m taking a look at the wide receivers.. I’ve taken some baseline numbers to use for comparison, but also have to consider other factors such as age, injury and whether they changed team or system. Pro Football Reference has been a valuable tool for finding sortable stats across season ranges. Continue reading Comparing Pre- and Post-Contract Numbers for Top WRs »

Breaking Down the Contract Structure Tendencies and Styles of Each Team – NFC North

This new series will go through each division and look at how each NFL team tends to structure and negotiate their contracts. This is particularly relevant as we near free agency, and fans can begin to understand the general approach that their team will take to the marketplace come March. We start with the NFC North.

Chicago Bears

GM: Ryan Pace (early 2015)
Director of Football Administration: Joey Laine (mid 2015)

The Bears brought GM Ryan Pace and head cap exec Joey Laine into the building together in 2015. They are one of the youngest front office duos in the league, and this new leadership in Chicago makes it difficult to pinpoint their current cap strategy, but there are certainly some early tendencies.

Continue reading Breaking Down the Contract Structure Tendencies and Styles of Each Team – NFC North »

The Best and Worst Value Teams of 2016

Since the season is halfway over for everyone I wanted to look at what teams are getting value and which ones are not out of their roster. There are a number of ways to measure value but what I wanted to do here was to use Football Outsiders weighted DVOA and my own scoring efficiency metrics to give an average level of performance for each team. This was then compared with the total amount of money invested in a team for 2016, where the investment equals the sum of all annual contract values as of last week. Each team is then broken down into one of four tiers to really define the winners and losers of the season. The chart below graphically represents where each team ranks with the size of the bubble showing how much cap space the team is sitting on which could have been used this year to better the team. Continue reading The Best and Worst Value Teams of 2016 »

Thoughts on the New York Jets

Before the season began I had a number of requests to write about the Jets, what they were building, and what I thought about their latest front office. With the season pretty much on the brink with a 1-4 record I figured now is as good a time as any to post some thoughts on the team and their future.

I didn’t expect much from the Jets this season so while the results have been disappointing I can’t say they have been unexpected. I’ve been on the record since last season ended saying that I expected that this season would be a lot like 2007 and so far I think it has been just that. For those of you who don’t remember the “Mangini (or Tangini as some called it) era” it effectively followed the same pattern we have had here except with one big difference. Continue reading Thoughts on the New York Jets »

June 1 Salary Cap Changes

Today is June 1 and today is the day that salary cap rules change around the NFL. Starting with today’s player cuts any acceleration of bonus money will accelerate into 2017 rather than the 2016 season. This generally allows teams with tight cap situations to release players with large dead money charges that they may not have felt they were able to release prior to June 1. Tomorrow is also the day when the NFL will officially process the June 1 designated cuts from earlier this year, which will bring the Redskins, Falcons, and Saints some added cap relief. Continue reading June 1 Salary Cap Changes »

NFL Salary Cap Set at $155.27M

According to the NFLPA the NFL has officially set the salary cap for the season at $155.27 million, about $12 million higher than last years number. With that number set we can now better estimate a few charges for next season related to tenders and draft selections. The number coming in that high also should mean that every team in the NFL is already under the salary cap for next year. I have the salary cap page now updated to reflect the new cap limit. Carryovers are included in that chart but only a few other adjustmets from last years incentives. As always remember these are estimates and the actual numbers may be (and probably will be) somewhat different.  Continue reading NFL Salary Cap Set at $155.27M »